Church of the Society of Jesus
Ecuador, Quito

On the heels of the military conquest of the Inca kingdom was his religious enslavement. The Catholic Church crushed the ancient Inca beliefs and converted them to Christianity by force. This missionary work was carried out by various church orders - Franciscans, Dominicans, Augustinians, and last but not least Jesuits. The first churches were housed in simple, unpretentious buildings, and for large communities worship was held directly in the open. But since the middle of the XVI century, the construction of churches has been gaining considerable momentum, the Indians, under the supervision of priests, are building ever more magnificent temples. Churches were built, as a rule, in the Spanish style - these massive buildings with powerful walls look like impregnable bastions of faith, which are supposed to protect the shrines stored in them from desecration by pagan Indians. Around the same time, the merciless exploitation of gold and silver deposits began (in 1545, Mount Potosi was opened in Bolivia, all pierced with silver veins), and churches for the glory of God began to be more and more magnificently decorated with these metals. Built in the Baroque style, La Company Company (La Campania - Church of the Brotherhood of Christ) is considered the richest Christian church throughout Latin America. Its construction was begun in 1605, but completed only in the XVIII century. The lush facade, crowned with green and gold domes, is decorated with statues and twisted columns. The interior of the church is designed in purple and gold tones. It is claimed that the decoration of the altars, walls and choirs took 6.4 tons of gold. The main altar, located under a very beautiful dome vault, as well as ten altars in the side niches are generously decorated with gold leaf. The pulpit and confessional amaze with exquisite wood carvings. Each free centimeter of walls and ceiling is painted with bright, shining colors. Interior decoration sometimes resembles samples of the Moorish style. In general, the church gives the impression of a gallery of the Quito art school, which to this day is admired. The vault paintings of La Company Church are rightfully considered the answer of the Quito art school to the famous Sistine Chapel. Our Lady of Sorrows, the main icon of the church, richly decorated with gold and emeralds, is constantly kept in the safe of the Central Bank and is shown to the world only on the occasion of especially important church ceremonies. The mortal remains of Santa Marianita de Jesus, the patron saint of the city of Quito, rest in the church. She came from a Spanish family, but took to the heart the troubles and sufferings of the Native American population, subjugating her life to the religious feat of harsh sacrificial repentance. When a plague broke out in the city, she invited the Lord to accept her life for atonement for the sins of other people, and soon, in 1645, she really died. In 1950, she was canonized. The Franciscans built many temples and monasteries in Quito. Thanks to them, the city is considered the capital of the Catholic faith in all of Latin America.